London Stock Exchange – Business Update

Proof of Trust & Assurance (The) technology makes it possible for governments to continue providing support to businesses and individuals, safe in knowing that it will be much more difficult for criminals to exploit the generosity.

The last 24 months have pushed all governments to act fast, often initiating emergency powers to roll out significant support to individuals, businesses, and health services. The pandemic would have forced many companies to fold without these incredible support schemes and caused people to suffer. However, emergency measures had to be made incredibly quickly, which often left loopholes to be exploited.

Many parts of the commercial and governmental landscape have been tested during the COVID-19 crisis. The risk of fraud is one of the most serious. Every country has been in uncharted waters for the past two years, which has given criminals the uncertainty they need to thrive.

Fraud has increased across the board during the pandemic. PwC’s report found that 56% of organisations in the US had experienced fraud in the past two years – the highest level ever recorded. The international law firm RPC estimated that civil fraud cases had risen by 50% after a year of living through a pandemic.

Government support schemes have been particularly vulnerable in the UK and across Europe. The Bounce Back Loan Scheme was launched in the UK in May last year to allow banks to quickly lend businesses up to £50,000 with a 100% state guarantee to help them cope with losses during national lockdowns. Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) projected that a staggering 35-60% of loans in this scheme might not be repaid because of fraud or credit issues, amounting to up to £27 billion. Alongside this, fraud and error in the Universal Credit welfare payment system increased by £3.8 billion to a record high of £5.5 billion in the 11 months leading up to March 2021.

Not only has the value of detected fraud increased over the past two years, but we have seen authorities’ ability to detect fraud also decrease. Meg Hiller, the PAC Chair, said, “The government knows it is losing over 26 billion pounds a year to fraud and error in the tax and benefits systems, but admits to another 25 billion pounds it can’t even detect”.

The Proof of Trust provides authorities with assessment and recommended resolution capability for possible error and fraud cases in the COVID support schemes and tax audits. Using a unique combination of scalable technology and human expertise, The Proof of Trust can expedite audit processes and return fair, independent recommendations on the validity of a support claim. Data captured along the process also allows for improved insights around error, fraud, and procedural issues. No personally identifiable information is necessary for review, while Delegate independence and expertise are assured.

The Proof of Trust are currently working with over 60 governments and global institutions to recover illicitly gotten gains and continue to distribute funds where needed, safe in the knowledge that only those who deserve the money will receive it. 

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